R. Luke DuBois, Politics As Usual
R. Luke DuBois
New York debut of Hindsight is Always 20/20
First United States solo exhibition with composer, artist, and performer R. Luke DuBois
He enjoys taking aspects of culture and subjecting them to a kind of gestalt analysis, where viewers gain an overview of a massive amount of material in a reduced form.
-Holly Willis, Daily Insider
Politics As Usual
September 12 – October 11, 2008
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce a string of concurrent exhibitions this Fall with artist R. Luke DuBois (b. 1975, United States). Politics As Usual marks the artist’s first solo gallery exhibition and the New York debut of his Hindsight is Always 20/20 series, which tours in Denver, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Also debuting will be SSB.
Commissioned by the City of Denver this summer during the U.S. Democratic National Convention, DuBois premiered forty-three free standing outdoor light boxes in the Hindsight is Always 20/20 series. The same day in Minneapolis–St. Paul, host city of the U.S. Republican National Convention, an exhibition showcasing the forty-three letterpress prints opened at the Weisman Art Museum.
Later in the fall, DuBois’ light boxes will travel to the National Constitution Center at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia where they will unveil on National Public Lands Day, September 27.
About Hindsight is Always 20/20:
Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines the history of American political discourse through the metaphor of vision. Drawing from the annual State of the Union (SOTU) addresses given by Presidents to Congress, ‘Hindsight’ consists of a single Snellen-style eye chart for each president who gave SOTU addresses. Instead of the typical characters present in an eye chart, the piece employs words drawn from their speeches, presented in order of most frequent (top line) to least frequent (bottom line) word. The result is a startlingly clear snapshot of the lexicon of each presidency, containing a mix of historically topical keywords and rhetoric unique to each president and the time period in which they served in office.
SSB is a generative sound work that uses a recording of soprano Lesley Flanigan singing the American national anthem. The recording is then digitally stretched to last four years (the length of an American election cycle), providing a sonic ‘electoral clock’. The resulting sound, with its repetition, echo, and microtonal nuance, is reminiscent of an adhan, or Islamic call to prayer.
R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural ephemera. Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography,” his recent work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his work reveals the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information. Exhibitions of his work include the Insitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; San Jose Museum of Art; National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; Sundance Film Festival; and Sydney Film Festival. An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet.
In a feat of mind-boggling genius (or supreme tedium), 30-year-old geek savant R. Luke DuBois has digitally smooshed a lifetime…
-Christopher R. Weingarten, SPIN
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Concurrent exhibits of Hindsight is Always 20/20:
Philadelphia: National Constitution Center in partnership with Independence National Historical Park will feature forty-three outdoor light boxes. Opens Sep 27
Minneapolis: Weisman Art Museum debuts complete set of forty-three letterpress series prints as an acquisition. Aug 23, 2008 – Jan 4, 2009
Denver: Democratic National Convention premieres forty-three outdoor light boxes as part of a public commission for the City of Denver. Aug 23 – 29
Denver: Robischon Gallery features a selection of prints in Dialog:Denver. Aug 16 – Sep 20